tv [untitled] February 25, 2013 6:30am-7:00am PST
>> excuse me, sir, if you're going to make public comment, you have to come up to the mic. >> seeing no further public comment, public comment is closed. commissioners? commissioner antonini. >> yeah, i think i was on the commission when we approved this in 2010. i think these are -- was a good approval then and i think it's even a better project now with some changes that have been made in regards to the fact that the loading dock which was supposed to be part of it was not available. but i think we have an even better project because of some of these changes. one of the things that is very apparent here is there is a demand by many businesses for the broader floor plates and it allows tech uses and other uses that need this kind of configuration to come to satisfy. and i know of another situation that's similar to this at the
present time uop [speaker not understood] dental school is renovating a building that already has these broad plates on 5th street near mission. and i was a graduate of the earlier facility and i can speak to the difficulty that facility has in its present location because of the narrowness. so, it's not just tech, but other uses. it's important that we get broad floor plates. however, this has to be correct and i think the things they've done in terms of tower separation, bulk, are very much in keeping with the code. as was pointed out by mr. guy, because of the tdr sold by 6 20, 63 1 howard, there never will be another tower that they have to separate themselves from because even if that building were to be destroyed in a fire or some other manner, it could never be built to more of a height than it's at now
because they've already sold their tdrs. and then the bulk, there are a number of ways that you can grant exceptions and major variations in the skin of the building, and they're certainly doing that as you notice from the very well done design with the different panels that overlap each other. also, they have narrowed the base. the base could be wider than it is, but to try to make these variations, the bases narrower than it could be, and it somewhat compensates for the wider first section of the building. * base is and also at the seventh floor and above the building, sets back and it relates itself very nicely to the adjacent building, many of whom are typically in that 4 to 6-story range. so, and also this is a building that's ready to go. projected construction to begin in july of this year. so, i think it does a lot of good things and i am totally in
support. >> commissioner moore. >> i'd like to take a slightly different tact toward looking at the changes in front of us. i think the commissioners who supported the approval in 2010 still hold to that commitment, except i think it is an overstatement to say that the building has not changed. it has changed and it is some of the areas of change where i am asking for the architect to continue working with the department in order to achieve some of those objectives, which in particular in 2010 were expressed quite strongly by the commission. and that is that one of the rules which encourages taller buildings in downtown to distinguish between the base, the middle and the top. we have lots of definitionses, particularly on the base and the middle of the building. that's become a much flatter facade, expression. and i would suggest that gets
reexamined to really deal with the historic street ball and what we use to track as a cornice line. this building doesn't have a cornice line, but establish a distinct banding above the fourth floor. or to remind us of the lower street, one of the historic buildings which we have moving west on howard street. the other point is that the building is not code compliant. it asks for a number of exceptionses based on the design of the building in 2010. * this commission supported the exceptions which are posed to us today. you have to allow yourself to look at them with a fresh eye. i am not saying they are not approvable, but they shift the burden of the bulk of the building onto 2nd street, which at that time was already a concern. so, building on 2nd street, because of the loss of property
on the west side -- on the adjoining property line, makes the building longer on 2nd street in order to maintain the square footage of the entire square footage which adds 400 square feet to each floor. having said that, my expectation would be the building finds a way to express some relief or modulation on the 2nd street facade. i would also expect that as a building, always more massive volitive to how it shows itself on tehema, on the alley, [speaker not understood]. those are techniques that are not worked on. we did not have time to meet and discuss them any further. but my discussions with director ram, including mr. junius and mr. shannon, indicated there is a
possibility to consider that. director ram, if you want to engage with me on that conversation which we had the last few days. >> yes, thank you, commissioner. as i understand it, the concerns that you've raised, they're kind of three major concerns. one is the band above the base of the building and strengthening that so that there is more of a distinction between the base and the upper part and the middle part of the building. the second is the bulk of the building on 2nd street. and the third is modulation and some relief on the tehema street side. i think certainly -- i think there are architectural expressions one can do to the building to strengthen those elements without necessarily reducing the square footage of the building. and i think given that the commission did approve the square footage, we would be happy to work with the project sponsor on resolving some of those architectural issues before the architectural addendum is approved at dbi. >> i believe that mr. pfeiffer
who is now working with [speaker not understood] is in full range of all capability to do that without reducing square footage, but there are subtle ways in terms of material manipulation or slight recessing which can indeed help with those issues. and i encourage [speaker not understood] i support approval of this building, but i would like the conditions by which we are approving it to reflect those concerns. thank you. >> commissioner hillis. >> i'm also supportive of the project. but i just wanted to ask on the ground floor, it seems like what's taken the reduction is the retail space. did you look at other options? i just want to make sure the ground floor along second is active and you've got the nice open space as well as one retail space remaining. >> carl shannon with [speaker not understood], the project sponsor. we lost the ability to buy the old loading dock so we shifted the entrance to the parking garage to the loading dock to
the east. we need to have a gas main room that is accessible to the street. that does remain on tehema. we do lose a portion of the retail. the critical thing in talking to retailers is how much frontage they have thev and that frontage along 2nd street remains the same. and we think, you know, quite frankly the old space was quite deep * and would provide for a great storage room to keep stuff. but in terms of the kind of activated retail that we've got, we've got a large enough space with enough frontage and we think we'll have as active a use as we would have with the larger retail. it doesn't change the number of retailers and i don't think changes significantly who we can have in that space. >> and that space can be divided into retail? >> it could be. i will point out that the grade on 2nd street is quite steep. so, it could be split. i think at this point we think it's more likely to be one retailer than two and 2nd
street, while, you know, it will be a challenge for us to find the right retail uses there in this building today. >> commissioner sugaya. >> i was going to go ahead and move approval with, i think there are three conditions. in addition to whatever conditions staff has, the ones voiced by commissioner moore and director ram on treating the 2nd street -- working on the 2nd street facade, working on the tehema street facade, and the banding definition of the banding could be a little more [speaker not understood] or whatever. >> second. >> i have one question, just one clarification for me, the project sponsor. so, the building separates on the 16th floor, there is this terrace area. is that an area that is obviously not accessible to the general public?
or is that a part -- >> it's not a public open space. it is accessed by the tenants on that floor. we made a fairly significant commitment on the ground floor to the public on the open space. [speaker not understood] 2010 and today's design is a modest reconfiguration of that. before there were step in that public open space. we are now able to get a grade with howard street. we took a shuttle [speaker not understood]. i think the public open space has improved significantly from 2010. >> so, this would be a private rental area to that tenant? >> it would be a private roof deck. in san francisco you don't charge for that space, but it's available to the tenant on that floor. >> i clearly don't want to tangle with this project this late phase. you can't help but notice so many rooftop either restaurants, lounges, bars, activity in new york, pares,
l.a., even, and this would seem to me to be a good opportunity to do that. i'm supportive of the project as is. commissioner antonini. >> yeah, i did mention some improvements and i studied this carefully between the one we approved in 2010. one thing that's been done and it was part of code changes, that there is now a provision that in the case of a seismic event, the buildings, whatever possible sway the building could have has to be such that it would never run into the property line. and it's been modified in such a way that that will comply with that code change that's occurred in the last couple years. and then mr. shannon also spoke about, which i think is an amazing amount of public open space within the building, somewhat similar, but much improved over that. we have at 101 2nd street not far away because this also adds a large food service area where
the folk could partake of beverages and food, and utilize the space. and i think that's -- and the improvement with making it all one level and adding the ramp for accessibility makes it a wonderful thing for the city. and having it enclosed with the ability to open the windows on a nice day really speaks well to our climate. there are times when you want the air in there and you want as much as possible. but on times when you do need to closure it's possible to do it. so, i think it does a lot of good things. i'm fine with the motion. i'm sure the project sponsor are okay with those changes. it can be worked out with staff to make an even better building before we move ahead very soon. >> commissioner sugaya. >> yes, i'd like to have staff bring back, not in a hearing, but if we could see the final drawings in comparison to what we have. >> would you call the question, please?
>> commissioners, on that motion to approve with conditions as modified by commissioner moore, including architectural considerations to 2nd street, tehama street and the banding, commissioner antonini? >> aye. >> commissioner borden? >> aye. >> commissioner hillis? >> aye. >> commissioner moore? >> aye. >> commissioner sugaya? >> aye. >> commissioner wu? >> aye. and commission president fong? >> aye. >> so moved, commissioners, that motion passes unanimously 7 to 0. commissioners, that will put you back to item 8, case no. 2012.1306tz, review of two ordinances, planning code text amendment and zoning map amendment that would rezone parcels in the upper market neighborhood commercial district to the upper market neighborhood commercial transit district. >> commissioners, sophie hayward, planning staff. before i make my presentation if it's all right with you, i'd like to turn this over to supervisor wiener. thank you. >> thank you.
>> good afternoon, commissioners. thank you for the opportunity. today before you is a legislation that i have authored relating to the upper market neighborhood which i represent. it does several things -- three things to be precise. first, it replaces the upper market neighborhood commercial district with the upper market neighborhood commercial transit district, nct, for the block of market street west of noe to the eastern edge of castro street. this simply follows along with the board of supervisors addition or extension of the controls in the market octavia plan west of castro street and make zoning consistent with east of noe street. this change, i believe, to have
no opposition and to be supported by various organizations that are taking a position on the legislation. the second aspect reestablishes the height control originally envisioned as part of the market and octavia plan which is generally proposes heights of 85 feet along market street east of church street for corner lots, and 65 feet west of church street. the heights west of church street were reduced back down to 50 feet pending an historic resource survey which has now been completed. when market and octavia controls were extended west to castro street, the height controls were not extended along with it and so we have the [speaker not understood] property formerly the gold stem property, which is seeking to expand the gym and also add apartments above. and, so, the rezoning proposes to go up to 65 feet.
i believe that this project should be capped at actually 62 feet. 60 foot height plus a two-foot bonus because the ground floor is 12 feet instead of 10 feet. but planning staff advises that 62 feet is not an actual planning height category. and, so, the legislation at the request of the planning staff says 65 feet that my understanding, my belief and desire is that the actual limit of the project would end up being 62 feet, not 65 feet. and this aspect of the legislation is supported by muncie as well as the castro to market cbd. and i will note that some have indicated that the -- this rezoning of the height for the fitness property should not happen until there is a specific project pending at the planning department. and i don't agree with that
argument because when you look at market/octavia, the adoption of the plan, or eastern neighborhoods, or many other rezonings that we've done, properties are routinely up zoned as part of a plan without knowing what the specific project is that's going to go there. so, i don't think we need to have the project pending at the planning department, before the commission, before the rezoning can occur. and then finally, the legislation would allow the off-site kitchen cafe floor on noe street to come into compliance with the planning code to provide cafe floor with a path to legalize the off-site kitchen that has had at one location or another for several decades. this legislation is critical to ensuring the continued success of an important and iconic neighborhood business, specifically cafe floor. in san francisco and in city
hall, we talk a very good game about supporting our locally owned unique neighborhood businesses. we talk a lot about how we prefer these businesses to formula retail. but our codes and sometimes our actions aren't consistent with that rhetoric about supporting our unique locally owned neighborhood businesses. we need to be more consistent and support these businesses and support their success because they are critical to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods. and cafe floor certainly falls into that category in terms of its important role in the castro/upper market neighborhood. cafe floor has had an off-site kitchen for decades on noe street. it was at one location and when the business was sold about 10 years ago and moved to a different location. this legislation simply recognizes that reality and provides cafe floor with a path
to legalizing the kitchen. it's important it step back and really view this issue for what it is. * to and just to be very clear, if this kitchen is removed, cafe floor will scale back its ability to serve food. it will have a reduced food service. it will serve fewer meals, and i assume we've all been to cafe floor or seen it at one point or another. it's very rare that it's not full. it is an incredibly popular restaurant in the neighborhood, one of a number of amazing restaurants and businesses in the neighborhood where people come to eat, to drink coffee. it is it sometimes serves as a community center, people meet there, many events there, many fund-raisers there. allowing the scaling back of the food service there is not in the interest of the neighborhood.
some of the opposition has focused on the owner and management of the restaurant. this really isn't about who owns the restaurant or who is going to -- someone is going to benefit or if someone has complied with the rules in the past or not. this is about what's best for the neighborhood, and i strongly believe as the district supervisor, and i think there is a lot of support in the community for this view, that a reduced cafe floor is not in the best interest of the neighborhood. as i mentioned in the letter that i sent that several neighborhood associations who had written to me about the ka fillet floor issue, i know it's in your packet, either the planning code is not a sacred self-revealed text. * the planning code exists to serve our gaunt and to make it vibrant and strong. * community you know better than i do in term of the number of planning
code amendments that move through this commission and through the board. i assume probably perhaps more than any other code. we routinely amend our planning code, including for some very specific geographic areas when the planning code is not reflecting the reality of what's best for our community. now, i understand the planning staff is recommending support of this legislation and also allowing potentially off-site kitchens in the city as a whole. while this may be something that should be considered, and i am very happy to work with planning staff to see if there is support for that in the city, that's a pretty significant step and it's a new way of approaching our neighborhood commercial district. it might be a very good idea, but i think that will require quite a bit of dialogue with various neighborhoods to see what people think and to see if
people think this is a good idea or not. i'm open to participating in that dialogue. but that is a separate issue from the need to make sure that we address the situation around cafe floor and, so, i encourage you to support the legislation. i'd be honored to have your support, and then to move forward if folk want to have that broader conversation. so, commissioners, i'd be honored to have your support and i'm happy to answer any questions. >> thank you. there may be questions. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> good afternoon, president fong and members of the commission. sophie hayward, planning staff. and thank you to supervisor wiener for summarizing the ordinance so thoroughly. just to repeat, the proposed ordinance does three things. first, it would convert much of the existing upper market ncd to the upper market nct. it would also amend the height and bulk classification of the
single lot, lot 34 and block 35 63 from 50 x to 65 b. and then lastly, it would amend planning code section 703.2b to allow food processing as an accessory use. on the west side of noe street between 15th and beaver for -- as an accessory use to a nonresidential establishment within 300 feet, provided that the food processing setback minimum of 15 feet from the property line and that accessory use be subject to section 312 notification and that it would sunset after one year. now, the department has presented to you in your packets a two-part recommendation and it's reflected in the draft resolution before you. first, the department makes a series of recommendations to the commission that you recommend approval with modifications to the board of supervisors. and then separately and
secondly, the department recommends that the commission directs staff to initiate or to prepare an ordinance for initiation separately that would address concerns regarding inconsistencieses in the height designationses within the upper market district. i've also distributed a series of maps that might be helpful in the discussion. i put some extra copies out for the public and also put them in the overhead. the first recommendation by staff to the commission is that you recommend to the board of supervisors that all of the upper market ncd be converted to the nct. so, i'll put this first map up. the upper market nct was established as part of the market octavia plan adopted in 2008 and at the time of the plan adoption, that stretch of market street west of noe was outside of the plan area and therefore not included in the new nct. the controls for the two districts by this time are almost identical.
and, so, there's no real land use or planning rationale to maintain two nearly identical districts. here in this map just on the overhead shows that as proposed, there would be just a couple of small lots left out. so the department's recommendation is that the commission recommend that the full area be rezoned to the upper market nct by including those last remaining parcels on lots 263, 6 and 91. on the northeast corner of castro [speaker not understood]. the fed recommendation does not require a map and the department is recommending that the commission recommend that the limited use of the off-site food prep for cafe floor be expanded and more broadly applied. the proposed ordinance would create a path to legalize what appears to be an illegal
accessory kitchen located at 260-1/2 noe street, which supports the very small kitchen at cafe floor. and as proposed, this provision would sunset after one year. and during that one year the operator could obtain all necessary permits, go through 312 notification, and then that use when the provision -- when the ordinance sunsets would become a legal nonconforming use. the department recommends that the commission recommend a modification that it would expand the provision in very specific ways and that would, first, it would remove the sunset provision. secondly, it would require that food processing as an accessory use either be very active and visible to the street front consistent with planning code section 145. or that it be completely screened from view behind an active use so that the active street frontage is maintained. next, we also recommend that the ordinance explicitly prohibit serving the public in any way within that accessory
food prep area. so, that would be the intent there would be to prevent the space being turned into an area for cooking classes or wine tasting or something to that effect. lastly, well, if these conditions are met, the department recommends the provisions would apply in all nct districts rather than limited to the specific geographic area outlined in the proposed ordinance and that the proposed sunset provision be removed. this would maintain the idea there would be 312 notification associated with the idea. lastly, the department recommends that the commission incorporate minor technical modifications that are outlined in the draft ordinance. they're very specifically essentially typos that we found in the course of reviewing the ordinance. the second batch of recommendations included in your draft ordinance would be initiated separately at your direction by staff at a future hearing with a separate ordinance.
basically to address issues regarding the zoning map, height amendments in light of lessons learned through the market octavia planned and the historic survey integration. so, there's another map i'd like to display. i believe it's the last map in your packet. the market octavia plan originally called for market street to be zoned at 85 feet beginning at the church street intersection and to the east while west of church street was to be zoned at 65 feet in height. the survey integration resulted in allowing heights to be raised from nonhistoric corner parcels to 65 feet while other parcels remained at 50 feet. and those in the 50 feet threshold have the potential five foot bonus for active ground floor uses. the department believes that that same rationale should be applied to all of market street that has been surveyed and recommends that the commission consider initiating separate legislation to rezone the
remaining two parcel at that corner of market noe and 16th street that are not historic resources. so, put that map up on the overhead as well. these are the only two remaining corner parcels east of castro street that are not historic resources and that are not proposed for height reclassification in the proposed ordinance. rezoning these two additional parcels would apply consistent design principle for all of market street and from castro to van ness. and then lastly, the department recommends that the commission consider initiating future legislation to fix what we believe are existing map errors. this is described in detail on page 7 of your case report, but i can show you quickly, i think it's the third map in your packet. and i apologize that i stapled these incorrectly. while the intent of the survey integration was to follow consistent nomenclature for